Full Time Enrollment at Stanford University
All F-1 and J-1 international students need to enroll full time to maintain their legal visa status.
At Stanford this means:
- Undergraduate students– 12 units minimum per quarter; this cannot be averaged out.
- Graduate students– 8 units minimum per quarter; TGR is considered full time.
Some Schools and Departments can have higher enrollment requirements. Please check with your School/Department.
Immigration law allows the following exceptions to full time enrollment:
- Final quarter of your program: Students still have to be enrolled for the units remaining to complete the degree.
- Summer quarter: Students do not have to be enrolled Summer quarter unless starting a new program or returning from a leave of absence. However, students who intend to take off Fall quarter must be enrolled full time during the preceding Summer quarter.
- Documented medical reasons: In order to be able to be less than fully enrolled for medical reasons, students MUST obtain permission from a International Student Advisor at the I-Center before they drop below full enrollment. Details may be found here.
This means that the following are not exceptions to full time enrollment:
- PSO as an undergraduate
- The quarter before becoming TGR
In other words international students need to be enrolled, in some form, each and every quarter they are at Stanford, including their last one. The only exceptions are described above.
The I-Center uses Stanford University systems to determine if a student is fully enrolled.